K, I gots some things to say right here, so I’m just going to say them. This is the situation, albeit a very simplied version, as I see it. Maybe you see things differently, if so please leave a comment, I’m all for sparking debate on this and the myriad of related topics. Right, ready? Consumerism and production. BAM! ‘Nice topic round Christmas time, Zoe!’, yep I know but I had to go there.
Every day, it becomes more apparent that those of us in the 1st world, need to buy less stuff. We need to consume less because we need to stem the damage caused by both the production of all that stuff, and the disposal of the stuff we no longer want. The depressing thing is, even though most intelligent and switched on individuals understand this, the individuals, corporations, businesses and governments with the most power to enforce change, largely chose not to. Which is due to economics.
Governments and international bodies have not and are not forcing the changes necessary because it will cost them the support, financial backing and votes that they need to keep them in power. If the G20 really did put the screws on global production and fossil fuel usage, the individual governments would lose the support of big business as well as be blamed for the resultant unemployment (from the production, transportation and selling of all that stuff) and for the increase in taxes and fuels bills. This is obviously a vast simplification of the situation, but that’s the basics, as I see them.
I don’t have the answer for preventing a rise in unemployment that most countries would experience, or for preventing public backlash against the raise in the cost of living that switching over to renewable fuels sources would probably bring. But we cannot let ‘economics ’ be the reason we will be forced to give our kids when they ask us in the future why we knowingly let our planet go to shit. Free market capitalism isn’t currently the planet’s best friend (or the majority of the world’s population who live in poverty). I don’t currently have an answer for the question of which economic system would reduce the present inequality in standard of living over the globe and encourage rather than prevent us from making the changes necessary to stem the environmental damage caused to the planet.
Despite a lack of strong leadership from our systems of power, I don’t think our current situation is hopeless. I know that people can be very effective when they put their minds to it. I don’t see that we have any choice but, as individual tenants of earth, to make what changes we can to how we live our lives, and to keep talking and listening and learning about these topics: all of which will make a positive impact on the situation AND also hopefully build up pressure on Big Business to change its practices and government to create and implement effective legislation.